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Blog: The First Christmas

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Off in the HEAVING rain last night for distant BRIXTON, where I was due to play at the Maps Magazine Christmas Party. It's very EARLY, but that's because it was theoretically a LAUNCH do for their online Advent Calendar, which I'll be contributing to again this year. Last time it was a free download of I Got You What You Want For Christmas (which, by the way, is out TOMORROW as a free download - more showing off to follow in the week!), this time it's something EQUALLY if not MORE Christmassy!

I was due on at 7.35 pm so, ever CAUTIOUS, rolled up just after half past six to find things being set up pre-DOORS. I was KNACKERED, having been out and about pretty much non-stop for the past month and had resolved to try a Gig Night WITHOUT drinking. A CHALLENGE! I realised that a good way to achieve this might be to spend time NOT in a pub, so went to nearby Curry Paradise where i had a VERY nice Veg Balti. It was a bit odd to be sat at THE table in an otherwise take-away establishment, but the tastiness of the experience more than made up for it.

I got back with about fifteen minutes to go before my set and so got stuck into the first of several pints of DIET COKE. It was actually all right - beer in Gig Venues can sometimes be a bit rum and, lovely place tho it is, I've had a couple of Next Morning Tummie after previous evenings at The Windmill, so didn't mind too much. I was thus at full MENTAL CAPACITY when I did THIS:
  • The Gay Train
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • I Got You What You Want For Christmas
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • The Advent Calendar Of FACT
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Walking In A Winter Wonderland

  • I THOROUGHLY enjoyed myself I must say. It's a funny old place to play, The Windmill, as when it's not very bust the shape of the pub positively ENCOURAGES people to sit away from the stage. You can still HEAR what's happening wherever you are tho, and vica versa, so I was surprised by LOUD applause at the end of some songs when I thought only five people could hear me.

    It felt GOOD tho and I was pleased/AMAZED to find that I remembered ALL the words to ALL the songs, including the three Christmas Songs which, by their very nature, I'd not sung for 11 months - or, in the case of I Got You What You Want For Christmas EVER in The Live Environment. Why, it's almost as if NOT drinking beer has some effect on my memory!

    Next up was The White Witches, featuring David From The Royal Family. "That's David from The Royal Family, he met The Food On My Plate once, at an exhibition" I thought, while they were on. Later on he would come over and say "Hello Mark - I met your girlfriend once at an exhibition!" Obviously it was a very memorable meeting for all concerned!

    After that it was time for The Maps Christmas Band, featuring an "all star" version of "Do They Know It's Christmas" which seems to be becoming a bit of a TRADITION at these sort of events. Possibly because it is SO VERY GRATE. Last year I was BONO at the Pop Art Christmas show, this time I was GEORGE MICHAEL and MY GOODNESS ME but I LOVED it - even without beer The Spirit Of Christmas was with me as I did my verse, it was BRILL!

    I'd been talking to a few different people after my set, including a chap with glasses who was playing later and had ALSO planned to do "Winter Wonderland" as his Christmas song and a lady who'd come to see me (thank you!) and the act AFTER the house band, Pagan Wanderer Lu. Now, I've never seen Pagan Wanderer Lu but have been seeing the name on posters for AGES usually playing the day before or after me. I imagined him/her/them to be a small country-ish band with a long haired female singer, so I was PEERING at girls to try and work out who it might be (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). Pagan Wanderer Lu were due to sing the next line after mine in the song tho, so I was BOUND to find out - and imagine my surprise when it turned out to be the chap with glasses I'd been speaking to earlier!

    I've listened to some of his stuff online today and I'm MOST disappointed to have missed his set, it was dead good, but LO! I had to get home at a reasonable time so had to set off into the night, striding as fast as I could in the POURING rain with buses all apparently trying to SPLASH as many people as possible as they went by. It felt VERY Christmassy!

    posted 29/11/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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